The Sounds Summer Slam, run by Sam Murray and Lee Dobson from Stoned-Em Spearos, has been the largest spearfishing event in New Zealand for the last three years and is shaping up to be another epic event for 2020!
The ethos of the competition has two strong socio-ecological threads around building community and peer awareness.
The first is environmental awareness about our polluted oceans and the importance of cleaning up the marine environment to protect it for generations to come. In particular, the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand. This is achieved by having a major emphasis on cleaning up the ocean and the best prizes from the competition go to 'the most ocean rubbish collected', and 'the best piece of ocean rubbish collected'. Last year a large tandem axle trailer filled with rubbish was collected (as seen in the image below).
The second is sustainable fishing practices and protecting our fish stocks. There are only seven species that are collected during the competition and these are selected from across the trophic levels of the marine food web. There is a limit of 1 fish from each species as this way we protect the fish stocks that are present. One problem with spearfishing/fishing events is that competitors 'up size' their catch. To avoid this from occurring the competition is designed that the number of species collected will win over weight, therefore competitors are discouraged from 'up sizing' their catch and encouraged to target the different species.
However, it is the hand carved swordfish bill trophy that everyone wants to get their names engraved on and become part of the history books (as seen in the image below).
If you want to learn more about the event visit their Facebook event here.
And you can register for the event here.